UN chief demands halt to sexual violence

August 8, 2009 03:23

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Friday demanded global action to stop government forces and armed groups from using sexual violence "like a grenade or a gun" to pursue their goals. He told the UN Security Council that the perpetrators generally operate with impunity, and he called for stepped up efforts nationally, internationally and by the UN to prevent and respond to sexual violence. "Parties to armed conflict continue to use sexual violence with efficient brutality," Ban said. "Like a grenade or a gun, sexual violence is part of their arsenal to pursue military, political, social and economic aims." The UN chief announced that he was in discussions with other UN partners to appoint a new senior UN official to address sexual violence. He urged the council to immediately authorize the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into violations of human rights and humanitarian law in conflicts in Chad, Congo and Sudan, including rape and sexual abuse of women and girls.

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